Local Means in Value Chain Ends: Dynamics of Product and Social Upgrading in Apparel Manufacturing in Guatemala and Colombia
This paper contributes to existing discussions of global value chains (GVC) and industrial upgrading by examining observations from eight months of field research in Guatemala and Colombia, where upgrading firms have their own nationally distinct form of labor relations, despite producing the same products for the same overseas buyers. Analysis of these observations leads to the conclusion that labor relations show significant leeway in relation to upgrading outcomes, and that local history merits more attention as a driver of management strategy. The paper concludes with a discussion of relevant theory and implications for future research.
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